In a statement issued late last week, Syngenta said it is developing a new technology to
dramatically improve the cost efficiency of sugar cane planting in
. Syngenta´s innovation would reduce planting costs per hectare
by some 15%, driven by a novel approach to grow sugar cane from smaller
cane segments using proprietary treatments. The technology is planned
for launch in 2010 under the brand name Plene™ and has a market
potential of $300 million per year by 2015.
This potentially make corn ethanol look even sicker as a long term answer to fuel replacement. But I can equally see US farmers asking for the 54cent/gal import tariff from Brazil to be raised to repel the threat from much more economic ethanol. I don't think that diverting sugar to ethanol is such a bad idea. Most of the time sugar is used for sweetness, not calories. Unlike corn.